So, things improving? Ha, when have you ever known that to happen? Thursday morning I started out with a pain in the neck (no, not my husband) I could move my head side to side but it was extremely painful moving forward and backward. It felt in the beginning that it was right in the joint, but as time went on it got more painful and even harder to move. Richard was rubbing some deep heat cream into it when he noticed that the muscles at the back of my neck were swollen and hard, so we switched to ice-packs. It got so bad that for the rest of Thursday and all of Friday I could pretty much only lie flat in bed without moving, and if I had to get up to use the bathroom I had to keep my head completely still, otherwise it was sheer agony. At one point I moved my head back and it fell completely backwards, like 'back of head resting on shoulderblades' and I couldn't bring it forward again using the power of my neck muscles. There was just nothing there. I had to put my hand behind my head and push it back up - that was kind of scary!
The muscular pain is easing now, but I can still feel that original source of the pain in the joint at the back of the neck. It's getting to the stage now that when one thing starts to ease I start trying to guess what the next thing to give out will be. It's probably the most un-fun game ever.
But this is not the main reason for my post, nor is it the reason why I'm feeling kind of bummed tonight. I think I'm going to have to cut my hair.
WOW. What a stupid, superficial thing to get upset over! Except, it's not really. I started to grow my hair long again a few years ago. When I first became ill with ME/CFS, I lost a lot of my hair. As a 13 year old going through puberty that was pretty tough. I didn't have any bald patches, my hair just thinned all over. I couldn't really have it any longer than shoulder length because it simply wasn't strong enough to support the weight. Whenever I tried I'd just end up cutting it straight off again because it looked just awful, all thin and straggly. It was dyed pretty much every colour of the rainbow at one point or another, because it was the only thing that made it interesting.
But then a few years ago I found a fantastic shampoo which helped strengthen my hair and for the first time since I was 13 I grew my hair past shoulder-length, and actually had it looking healthy. Then I kept growing it. And growing it. Right down to my waist. Because I could. I didn't have to look in the mirror and be reminded of 'my illness' any more. It was like a victory over my health, if that makes sense. I mightn't be able to win the war any time soon, but my flag was flying at the end of that battle.
But now, because Richard is having to help me with washing and brushing it, and also because it gets so tangled with being in bed so much, I think the most sensible thing to do would be to get it cut a lot shorter. Back to shoulder-length, most likely.
And therein lies the reason why I'm upset. I feel like 'illness' has won, once again. This thing that I took back for myself is being taken away from me again. I can't even be sure how explain it, it's like....... my hair was something that for the past few years was just me, my thing and didn't have to be defined by or changed in any way because of a 'medical condition'. And now I do have to change it because of that very thing.
I don't even know if that makes sense to anyone. There's some weird shit that goes around my head sometimes. Also, in a strange way, it's like finally acknowledging that this is the way life is now, and there's not a God-damned thing I can do about it. I just have to learn to go with the flow, and sometimes sacrifices, no matter how trivial they may actually be, have to be made.
OK, I think my blahblahblahing is done for the night. Hope you guys are all good. =)